BATHURST (GNB) – Changes to court services in the northeast region of the province will take effect in the new year.

On Jan. 1, 2022, the Caraquet courthouse will close. Its caseload will be redirected to the Bathurst Law Courts. In addition, the Tracadie courthouse will become a satellite court.

“Since 2012, we have experienced a significant decrease in the volume of cases in this region, making it possible for the Bathurst and Tracadie courthouses to accommodate these changes,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Hugh J. Flemming.

The Tracadie and Caraquet courthouses are the only ones in the province used exclusively for provincial court appearances, and both locations have been operating on a part-time basis since summer of 2020.

“These changes will allow us to make the best use of available resources given the current volume of cases,” said Flemming. “Since the Bathurst courthouse has the capacity to absorb these cases, making these changes will allow us to relieve workload pressures for staff and better allocate resources in our court system.”

The chief judge of the Provincial Court was consulted about the changes and concurred with the decision.

Anyone scheduled to participate in hearings at the Tracadie or Caraquet courthouses will be contacted regarding any changes to the location at which they should appear.

Probate, small claims, hearings on civil matters, family law matters and criminal cases that are heard by the Court of Queen’s Bench will continue to be held in Bathurst.